Nitrate and Nitrite Free Corned Venison

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An American tradition to have corned beef on Saint Patrick's Day, this corned venison was my way of a cooking tribute to both Irish and American history. I wanted to make a cleaner version of a food I absolutely love and by replacing beef with venison and eliminating the nitrates and nitrites, I did just that.

But what cut do you use?

I first used a venison shoulder roast that from the moment I cut the roast off the bone reminded me of the stringy consistency and texture of beef brisket. Since then, I have found the bottom sirloin works very well for me, but many of the hindquarter roasts work.

Botulism

As a note, proper meat handling is very important and all precautions should be made to avoid allowing the venison to get to or stay at room temperature for any length of time during or before the brining process. Botulism is a very real thing and should be respected when handling meats and other low pH foods. The reason potassium nitrate is usually used in corned beef is to help protect against botulism and preserve the meat. That being said it has also been thought to link to various cancers and is commonly used as a tree stump remover. whether it is bad for your health or not, I prefer to remove excess chemicals or ingredients when I don't gain any value from them being there. 

In the end, the pink you expect to see is actually from the potassium nitrate combining with the meat so this will not be present. But, the taste is everything you expect and more out of corned venison!

 

Recipe:

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Sit Time: 4-7 Days    Cook Time: 5-8 Hours

 

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Brine Instructions:

- 1 2-3lbs Venison roast

- 8C Water

- 1C Salt

- 1/2C Brown Sugar

- 4T Pickling Spice (store bought or make your own!)

- 6 Cloves Garlic

 

Set a large pot on a burner on high. Add water, salt, sugar, pickling spice and garlic. Stir until all the brown sugar and salt have disintegrated. Allow the brine to cool and when room temperature, move it to a large Pyrex bowl or zip seal bag and place brine liquid into the refrigerator. Allow the brine to completely cool and then add the venison into the container. Brine for 4-7 days, turning the bag over or stirring daily to allow the brine to move about the meat. When ready to cook, remove the venison from the bag and thoroughly wash off all brine. If this is not done it will taste very salty after cooked.

 

Cook Instructions:

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- 1 Uncooked Brined Venison Roast

- 1-2C Chicken Stock

- 1T Pickling Spice

- 2t Coriander Seeds

- 1-2 Bay Leaves

 

In a crock pot, set to low heat and add brined venison roast. Add Chicken stock to submerge about half of the roast. Make certain to move the roast once the stock is in place to allow the stock to get beneath the roast. Add pickling spice, coriander seeds over the roast and add bay leaves to the stock. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-8 hours depending on the size, until the roast texture is that of what you would expect for corned beef. Remove the roast from the liquid and allow it to cool 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with spicy brown mustard and enjoy!